By: Philippe Vandermaelen
Date: 1807 (published) Brussels
Dimensions: 19 x 23 inches (48.25 x 58.5 cm)
This is the first lithograph map of Illinois and Missouri with the surrounding Arkansas, and Missouri Territories that would later become the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. The region depicted would forever be known as the Gateway to the Western Frontier, with scores of emigrants, prospectors, and traders traversing the many historic trails that began along the Missouri River, including the Santa Fe and Oregon Trail.
The map shows early counties, settlements, forts, iron and quartz mines, rivers, lakes, wagon roads, and physical topography. Small circles give populations of each state. A notation running from bottom to the top of the western portion of the map reads in French "Limite occidentale de la pierre arquilleuse et des couches de charbon se joignust aux ments Ozarks," which translates to "Western boundary of argillaceous stone and coal seams joins Ozarks." Stepping back, one can't help but notice the focus Vandermaelen made to the geologic makeup and mining opportunities of the region. Natives of the region trading quartz and other minerals had been documented since the time of the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado ventured into the region in search of the fabled Golden city of Quivira.
Vandermaelen's Atlas Universal, of which this map was published, was one of the most remarkable world atlases ever produced. It anticipating the International Map of the World and was the first work to show every bit of known land on a uniform scale. The entire work consisted of 400 maps drawn on a scale of 1:1.6 mission with as precise and accurate information as was then available. It was the first atlas to be made entirely of lithography printing, a very new and game-changing printing technology with regards to regularly updating maps with ease.
Condition: This map is in A condition with exquisite original hand coloring on clean paper with no tears or holes, and full margins on all sides.
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